GENET archive


FEED: Dutch authorities order partial recall of illegal GE maizeimports

                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Illegal genetically engineered maize let loose in Europe
SOURCE: Greenpeace International, The Netherlands
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   09.05.2007

Illegal genetically engineered maize let loose in Europe
Dutch authorities order partial recall

AMSTERDAM, International -- The Dutch Food Safety Authority (VWA)
announced today that it is recalling part of a cargo containing illegal
Genetically Engineered (GE) maize imported from the United States of
America. The VWA has also announced that it will step up inspections of
US ships, from 10 to 25%. A press release issued by VWA confirms
Greenpeace' announcement made on 27 April 2007 (1) that the vessel
Pakrac, which arrived in the port of Rotterdam on 10 April, brought
maize containing GE Herculex RW maize gluten, produced by Pioneer/Dow.
This type of GE maize is grown in the US, but is not allowed in the
European Union.

Greenpeace supports the Dutch authorities' attempt to contain the spread
of illegal contaminated maize but criticises both EU and Dutch
authorities for being unable to detect and prevent the entry of illegal
GE varieties into the EU. In the case of the Pakrac, despite the early
warning issued by Greenpeace, the recall was ordered only after part of
the illegal maize had already entered the food chain.

"The Pakrac cargo is just the tip of the iceberg; many more illegal GE
shipments could be slipping into the EU, given the lack of systematic
controls. The EU should suspend all imports of US maize and other
agricultural products that are under suspicion of being contaminated by
GE organisms until they can institute a proper system to protect
consumers, farmers and the environment from the risks of unwanted GE
food and animal feed," said Myrto Pispini, Genetic Engineering
campaigner, Greenpeace International.

On 10 April 2006, members of a Greenpeace Biosafety Patrol took samples
of maize from the cargo of the Pakrac. Scientific analysis of these
samples confirmed the suspicion that the shipment contained illegal
varieties of genetically engineered maize (Pioneer/Dow Herculex RW),
including Monsanto's MON863 variant, which is currently under review in
EU for potential health risks. (2) Greenpeace released these test
results and called on the VWA to clamp down on all maize imports from
America, and to prevent the tainted maize from being distributed.

However, VWA has recalled only the maize gluten that has not yet been
processed, and not the quantity already processed into animal feed. The
recalled maize will either be sent back to the US or burned in the
Netherlands. According to VWA, the processed products are not being
recalled, because "there is no risk for animals' or consumers' health.
The same approach was followed last year when illegal GE rice entered
The Netherlands." VWA also states that the body "expects that the
illegal Herculex maize will be legalised in the European Union in the
near future."

"The role of the EU Commission and EU governments is not to support the
biotech industry but to monitor it strictly! On what basis is the VWA
assuming that this maize will be legalised? And even if it were to be
legalised at a future date, as of now, this contaminant maize has not
been approved for imports in the EU -and is clearly an illegal import.
According to EU law authorities must recall the entire tainted cargo and
either destroy it, or return it to the original senders for proper
disposal," concluded Pispini.

Notes to Editor


(2) MON863 maize is authorised for food-and feed use in the EU. However,
GE maize MON 863 is under suspicion of posing significant health risks
and is currently under review by the European Food Safety Authority,
after Professor Seralini, a French scientist, published a study which
demonstrates that laboratory rats, fed with a genetically engineered
(GE) maize MON 863, have shown signs of toxicity in kidney and liver.
SÚralini, G-E, Cellier, D. & Spiroux de Vendomois, J. 2007. New analysis
of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs
of hepatorenal toxicity. Published in: "Archives of Environmental
Contamination and Toxicology".

Further contact information for reporters to get video, photos or report
Myrto Pispini, Genetic Engineering campaigner, Greenpeace International:
Namrata Chowdhary, Greenpeace International Communications: +44 77 261 751 48

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                                 PART II
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TITLE:  Netherlands refuses GM corn shipment from US
SOURCE: Agence France Press, France
DATE:   09.05.2007

Netherlands refuses GM corn shipment from US

The Netherlands will return, or burn, a United States shipment of
genetically modified corn that lacks clearance from European
authorities, the Dutch food security authority said Wednesday.
Environmental organisation Greenpeace recently denounced the corn gluten
shipment, which arrived at the Rotterdam port on April 10. The
genetically modified corn was not authorised by the European Union, the
Dutch authority said in a statement. The name of the product in the
shipment was Herculex RW from US company Pioneer, the authority said. It
is used in the production of animal feed. The portion of the shipment
not yet used will be recalled and either returned to the United States
or burnt in the Netherlands, according to the authority. The product is
currently being tested by the European food safety agency, with EU
experts set to decide on June 8 whether it will be authorised. For that
reason, Dutch authorities did not order the destruction of products that
have already incorporated it. Food safety authorities in the Netherlands
have also decided to increase testing for genetically modified foods.
From now on, 25 percent of corn imports from the United States will be
tested, compared to the previous 10 percent.

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